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A few showers but, most rain Sunday night.

Posted by David Epstein  April 21, 2012 08:27 PM

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After a spectacular afternoon Saturday conditions will slowly go downhill for Sunday and especially Monday morning. The commute on Monday will be slower due to heavy rain and gusty winds. By evening Monday, the rain will be over and conditions will be improving rapidly. With the possibility of heavy rain a flood watch has been issued. Any flooding will be of localized nature and this watch is not for major rivers.

As I look at the weather evolving over the next 48 hours I see two shots of rain for the area. There will be break between the rain and therefore much of Sunday morning should turn out fairly dry. Kids practices, a run or a golf game most likely will still be able to take place. There will still be showers around the area, but not the heavy rain that will move in by the second half of Sunday and into early Monday.

Late tonight through Monday.
There are two weather systems about to impact all of New England. Area number one, seen on this image, is a line of showers that divides our mild air over us now, with cooler air over the Midwest. radar2.jpg As the cooler air heads east, so too will the showers. These showers will impact us late tonight but should be over by Sunday morning. Area number two will, at the same time, be moving north. Eventually, late Sunday and into Monday morning the rain currently across Florida and the southeast, will be over us. It's this second area that will give us our heaviest rain. Later Monday morning the rain should have moved to our north and will taper to a few showers.

How much rain?
Right now a general 1-3 inches of rain is likely across the area. There will likely be areas of heavier amounts as well, especially west of route 495 and to the north of route 2 into New Hampshire. radar.jpg As you can see from this image, the yellow and orange areas represent the heaviest rain and where it is forecast to be late Sunday. As the area moves north, we will get our heaviest rainfall. Cape Cod will be on the eastern fringe of the heaviest rainfall so they will see the least amount of rain.

Could the rain miss us?

As with any storm, forecast tracks can change. If the storm passes too far to our west, then the area of heavy rain will go with it. That would mean less rainfall on the order of a quarter to half inch of rain. That scenario is not likely, but I will be watching how the storm moves tonight and early Sunday and updating the forecast amounts if I things change.

Flooding and wind
Flooding is not an issue since we have had so little rain. Rivers and streams can handle this amount of rain. What you may see is some street flooding temporarily especially early Monday. The Monday commute will be very slow if the heaviest rain is moving through at that time. It will also be windy late Sunday and Monday but nothing extreme and I don't expect any damage or power problems.

Drought is severe
The reason we need rain so badly is that the dry weather has pushed us over the edge in terms of drought. (note the image below)

drought.jpg

We are now in a severe drought and the only reason it's not worse is the time of the year. Take a look along the road and notice the grass is grey or brown. Although we have had warm weather the leaves are not growing as fast as normal. I am having to water my vegetables every few days and the lawn is not growing nearly as fast as it should in mid-April.

Trees not leafing very fast
There is a complex relationship between the roots of the trees and the buds above. The roots are where something called cytokinins are made and then travel into the tree helping to 'tell it' to grow. I suspect that the drought has slowed the production of cytokinins and is why many trees seem to be stuck at the same level of growth for the past month. If we do get an inch of rain this weekend, watch the leaves explode next week.


Gardening tip this week.
I put together a video that shows what I am doing in my garden right now and how I prepare the soil for planting. You can also see what I was able to winter over as a result of the mild weather and some minimal protection.


Follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom and check out my latest videos at GrowingWisdom.com

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

David Epstein has been a professional meteorologist and horticulturalist for three decades. David spent 16 years at WCVB in Boston and currently freelances for WGME in Portland, ME. In 2006, More »
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